Real-estate mogul Donald Trump criticised South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) on Wednesday after she took a subtle jab at him the day before.
Haley gave the official Republican response to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union speech. Haley urged the public to resist the “angriest voices” and later confirmed that Trump was one of the people she was referencing.
“Yes, Mr. Trump has definitely contributed to what I think is just irresponsible talk,” Haley said on NBC’s “Today” show.
Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, responded by calling Haley “very weak” on illegal immigration during a “Fox & Friends” interview.
“I respond a couple of ways. No. 1, she’s very weak on illegal immigration. I’ve known that for a long time. But she’s weak on illegal immigration. And she certainly has no trouble asking me for campaign contributions. Because over the years, she’s asked me for a hell of a lot of money in campaign contributions. So it’s sort of interesting to hear her,” Trump mused.
“So perhaps if I weren’t running, she’d be in my office asking me for money,” the billionaire businessman added. “But now that I’m running, she wants to take a weak side on immigration. I feel very strongly about illegal immigration. She doesn’t.”
One of the “Fox & Friends” hosts then asked Trump if he would select Haley as his vice president. Trump suggested that she wasn’t a front-runner for his hypothetical ticket.
“Well, considering I’m leading in the polls by a lot, I wouldn’t say she’s off to a good start based on what she has just said,” Trump said. “So let’s see what happens. We’ll pick somebody, but we’ll pick somebody who’s very good. But whoever I pick is also going to be very strong on illegal immigration. We’ve had it — we’ve had it — with illegal immigration, believe me, and a lot of other things.”
Trump also praised South Carolina’s voters, who weigh in early during the Republican primary.
“I love her state,” he said. “I’m there a lot. And by the way, I have a massive lead in South Carolina — we have a massive lead — and they’re incredible people. And they feel like I do, believe me. Because they don’t like what’s happening in our country.”
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